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Eaton is experimenting on techniques for making hardware sales more profitable for its partners as well. According to Tardy, competition with large account resellers like CDW and ecommerce electronics sites has whittled margins on power gear purchases to practically nothing.
“You will never be the best price if the customer is only looking for price, so you need to bundle [hardware] with additional services, additional products, whatever, to hide the cost of each individual SKU on the bill of materials, which is not easy to do,” he observes.
To make it easier, Eaton is working on a new deal configurator that assigns a single unique part number to customized, deal-specific product combinations. Partners can quote a single price for that ad hoc “part,” making it impossible for customers to comparison shop individual line items on a proposal against e-tailers.
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